By Misty DUPLESSIS
Mountain Avenue’s Science Fun Fair coordinators Saty Raghavachary and Jackie Bodner have been getting students excited about science for the past three years. To kick off the fourth annual Science Fun Fair, this year the organizers held a mini-science display where past entries were recreated to generate creativity and excitement.
“This kick-off flag ceremony is to get everyone excited and to give them ideas,” said Bodner who added that participation is strictly voluntary and everyone who enters will be awarded with certificates and prizes donated by parents.
One of the projects students got to see was Lori Bodner’s trilobites collection. The Bodner family excavated the fossils in Utah for last year’s project. This year Lori is gathering information on dolphins and whales for her inspiration.
First graders Mihir Manchikatla and Advait Kartik worked together to create the Dancing Raisins as part of their science demonstration.
Second grade friends Morgan Lashley-Haynes and Rylan Brodie completed their science project early this year and shared it with their classmates. The girls sent a weather balloon (with astronaut Barbie) into space to gather data. The balloon that was launched into the stratosphere was equipped with a camera and a tracking device to help measure the balloon’s altitude.
Morgan’s father Jansen Lashley-Haynes worked to get permission from the FAA to launch the weather balloon emblazoned with Mountain Avenue’s school colors.
“When you make stuff fun, it opens their minds and it’s good for the community. To have them be involved in science is awesome,” said Lashley-Haynes.
This kind of experiment had not been done before, but now students can see that they can take their ideas to another level.
“We are close to JPL, this is part of what the community does. When we began [the fair] it was small [but when] students see how fun it is, the number of entries keeps going up,” said Raghavachary.